Home to one of the nation's most highly educated populations, Washington, DC’s high school graduation rates are staggeringly low. In 1987, a DCPS educator and parent of a high school student saw an elegantly simple way to address the problem: place at-risk students in one-on-one relationships with trained adults, help them develop their potential, encourage them to stay in school, and see that they graduate with a plan for the next step. Mentors, Inc complements its strategy with monthly enrichment programs on college preparation, community service, and career exploration. The results are striking: while only 60% of the city's seniors graduate from high school, at least 90% of Mentors, Inc protégés graduate, and at least 85% enroll in college. Now serving up to 150 students annually (including the children of incarcerated adults), Mentors, Inc is DC's only city-wide, one-on-one, open enrollment high school mentoring program. It has served over 4,000 students, provided over $600,000 in college scholarships – and forged lasting and deep relationships between youth and adults. New mentors, and resources, are most welcome.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; We have an especially strong presence in Wards 7 and 8 with over 51% of the students we serve living in these two wards.

Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students

Schools They Work In: We are open to students in any public and charter high school in DC, however, we focus recruitment in the high-need areas of the city (Wards 7 and 8).

  • Number of volunteers who work with us annually:   100
  • % of High School Seniors Graduating:   At least 90%
  • % of Graduating Seniors Enrolling in College:   At least 85%
  • Number of Students Served Annually:   Approx. 100

Awards & Recognition



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Budget (FY2013)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Mentors, Inc is: Less than $500k

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